Patents - An Alternative View (Groklaw)
Posted Oct 26, 2004 13:19 UTC (Tue) by jdthood
In reply to: Patents - An Alternative View (Groklaw)
Parent article: Patents - An Alternative View (Groklaw)
> A toilet is an invention. "Flushing away poo with a lot of water" is not
> an invention. It is an idea.
Actually I would say that The Toilet is the invention -- and that _is_ an idea.
A patent is a monopoly on the use of an idea.
You cannot fight software patents by pretending that patents traditionally
didn't apply to ideas.
> The definition of multiplication is not an invention. Again, idea. Or
> definition, if you'd like. The definition of mpeg4 decoding? Same.
> Actually implementing mpeg4 decoding? Invention. See?
> Software patents are by definition patents on ideas.
Yes, as are all other patents.
> Let's recap. Patents for inventions: good. Patents for ideas: bad.
> This is for many reasons. One is that so sane person would think
> just typing down ideas represents enough work. (And as a matter
> of fact, neither did any patent lawyers util IBM came with a whole
> lot of money to make it happend.)
You can't patent just any old idea. The idea you patent has to be
useful. Developing a useful idea takes, usually, a lot of work.
The true reason why software should not be patentable is that ideas
for software are developed in different ways from ideas for other
products and processes -- in ways that would be much more hampered
than helped by a patent regime.
> IANAL, of course, but your comment was a bit naive and completely
> beside the point so I felt I had to type down something here.
> I hope it clears up matters a bit.
You are only muddying the waters! :)
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